Teaching ESL vs. EFL Quite often, the terms English as a

Quite often, the terms English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) are used interchangeably to describe English language instruction to non-native speakers. However, it is becoming increasingly more well known that the two contexts are quite different, demanding the teacher approach and execute different teaching methodologies in the classes. In an ESL setting, the class is likely to be multilingual and be completely immersed in the language by living in the culture of the target language. On the other hand, in the EFL setting, the class is typically monolingual and living in their own country (Brown 2001).

In Teaching by principles, author H. Douglas Brown explains that 'it is useful to consider the pedagogical implications for a continuum of contexts ranging from high visibility, ready access to the target language outside the language classroom to no access beyond the classroom door' (2001, 116). In each case, various resources can be manipulated to meet the needs of the student. This paper explores how the use of these resources affects the motivation level of the students in the area of teaching.

Student Motivation Student motivation has been analyzed and categorized in many ways. However, the ultimate effect that it renders on teaching and learning remains questionable because motivation as a study of research is difficult to measure. A useful

framework for discussing motivation offers two main categories: extrinsic motivation, which evolves from a longing for an external reward, and intrinsic motivation, which involves of learning for personal reasons as an end in itself (Harmer 1991). The relationship between these two categories of motivation is not exactly harmonious. Brown (2001, 75) explains, that 'intrinsic/extrinsic motivation designates a continuum of possibilities of intensity of feeling or drive, ranging from deeply internal, self generated rewards to strong, externally administered rewards from beyond oneself.' It has been illustrated through research that students in ESL compared to EFL classrooms can be categorized as having different levels of motivation, which in results in affecting the very nature how a teacher confronts the contexts.

EFL versus EFL student motivation In an EFL setting, intrinsic motivation can be low, and English may not seem important to the students since it does envelope the daily functions of their lives. Chances are, the language is required as part of their job or they must study it for a test (Brown 2001). In addition, EFL settings include large classes and limited contact hours, which as a result make the learning of English immensely challenging. Such exposure does not provide much opportunity to enhance language learning.

In an ESL classroom, students are likely to have a higher intrinsic motivation. Because they are living in the target language community, English is relevant to their daily lives and thus, they more chances to exercise their language skills and see results on the spot.

Brown (2001, 76) claims, that 'a convincing stockpile of research on motivation strongly favors intrinsic drives.' Teachers can apply this claim by taking into consideration the students' motivation profile when they implement their lessons and then are able to find ways to increase motivation when they sense it may be lacking. One motivating factor to consider when examining motivation profile is age. For language learning which comes easier for children under 12, intrinsic motivation can unfold if strategic devices are implemented to grasp their attention. Children are more apt to learn if they are having fun in the process. Many students, especially EFL students, may be aloof towards learning if they find they cannot apply the material to their own lives. Such students are less likely to be intrinsically motivated to learn English; teachers must develop intrinsically motivating teaching strategies. Such strategies include helping students see the uses for English in their lives, presenting them with reasonable challenges, giving them feedback that requires them to act, playing down the role of tests and appealing to their genuine interests (Brown, 2001).

In conclusion As Brown (2001) observed, if learners have the opportunity or desire to learn language for its own sake, such as to become competent users of that language, they will have a higher success rate in terms of long-term learning than if they are driven by only external rewards.


Brown, H. D. 2001. Teaching by principles. New York: Longman. Harmer, J. 1991. The practice of English Language Teaching. New York: Longman.